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Critical Literacy

Critical literacy is a broad theoretical and practical framework focused on creating a critically informed and just world. It begins with the roots of critical literacy and the Frankfurt School from the 1920s, includes the work of Paulo Freire in the late 1940s (McLaren, 1999; Morrell, 2008), and currently includes engagement with multimodalities and new technologies, spatiality- and place-based pedagogies, and working across the curriculum in the content areas in multilingual settings (Adapted from the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Education, “Critical Literacy”).

Favorite Texts:

Association of American Colleges and Universities, “Making Excellence Inclusive” 

Buyserie, Plemons, and Ericsson. “Retention, Critical Pedagogy, and Students as Agents: Eschewing the Deficit Model”

White, “The Weakening Definition of ‘Diversity'”


The following presentations were designed for professional development at Washington State University. For information on how to use these materials, please contact us.

Triana, “Navigating Issues of Emotional Labor and ‘Cultural Taxation'”

Triana, “Serving Students as Undocumented Citizens”

Plemons, “Critical Pedagogy and Classroom Design”

Velasco, “Communicating across the Fi’esta Table: Conversational Engagements in the Classroom”


The Art of Meaning Making, “Pedro Noguera on Critical Literacy and Hip Hop”